Dating is one of the most exciting and enjoyable activities on earth. However, images of teenage parenthood, delayed dreams, and unplanned teenage pregnancy make parents dread the day their child starts dating.
If you are at loss of what to do when romantic notions start to occupy your child’s mind, you can go with these tips:
Talk about sex.
Dating paves the way to romance, and romance leads to sex. A child who becomes interested in dating will inevitably learn what sex is.
Parents have no control over the information their kids get outside their homes. It might be better for them to find out and guide what their kids know and understand about sexual activity. For a lot of people, the best way to do this is through direct and amiable conversation with their child.
Talking about sex need not be scientific since your child’s school might already provide them this information. You can choose to discuss only the knowledge that you think is suitable to your child’s age and maturity.
You can communicate the ideals and morals you want for your child and present the advantages of following such principles. Discuss the consequences of having sex with somebody. You can present the circumstances where, you think, one can enjoy anxiety-free, shame-free, and guilt-free sex.
Finally, you can be frank, candid, and agreeable. Someday, your child will understand the courage and love it took for you to raise this topic and discuss this with him.
To date or not to date?
The moment your kid takes interest in dating is usually in the phase where he wants to exert independence and explore further experiences. This is an appropriate time to lead him towards independent decision-making.
During his teenage years, your child might not be permitted to do everything he wants to do yet. However, he does need to see that his choices affect himself, his future, and the people around him. To learn this, he needs some freedom to decide and, possibly, choose poorer options.
Your child needs to realize that dating somebody is just one alternative. A teenager does not have to enter a romantic relationship to fully enjoy his teen years. He can have fun and be cool without investing energy, emotion, and time engaging somebody in a romance.
If your child decides to date, both you and your child could write down standards on:
- What kind of person to date
- What kind of activities to do
- What places to go
- How long a date should be
Combine ideas and come up with a final list of standards. Explain to your child that he is a priceless human being who is worthy of respect and honor. Thus, he deserves to go out with those who will not bring him shame or make him feel worthless.
Remind your child that it is safer for him and his future if his dating activities major in verbal exchanges rather than physical interaction. Going to public places and making dates a group activity add merriment to dating, too.
Tell your child that he now has the capacity to enforce the criteria both of you agreed on. Assure him that you will always be ready to help him do so.
Parents should always guide their child firmly, gently, and lovingly. They should also assure him that they got his back.
Some practical ways to support your dating child include:
- Recommending good places to go to and fun activities to try
- Being there when your child needs a sounding board
- Offering unsolicited advice because he cannot expect this from anyone else
You can make it clear that his mistakes will not be condoned. Nonetheless, you can still be there to help him right whatever he did wrong and assist him in getting back on the right track.
Dating makes life spicier but it can cause great pain when mishandled. Parents cannot keep their children from every hurt, but they can steer their kids to the best choices in life and be there for them when they make the wrong ones. This is why when dating starts to season a teenager’s life, parenting becomes more flavorful as well.